A collage of various images from the El Asfaar project

El Asfaar

El Asfaar collects 12 insightful reports from the lives of people in North Africa and the Middle East. More...

About El Asfaar

In 2023, foreign journalism faces many challenges: Pressure to economise in editorial offices, shrinking budgets and fewer and fewer foreign correspondents. The lack of financial, time and human resources makes foreign journalism that goes into depth and reports beyond stereotypes increasingly difficult.


  • Mosa'ab Elshamy

    Mosa'ab Elshamy is an award-winning photojournalist who covers daily news stories as well as in-depth cultural and social documentary projects across the Middle East and North Africa. His work has been described as dedicated, humane, and intimate. He is currently based in Morocco as a staff photographer for the Associated Press. www.mosaabelshamy.com  

    Mosa'ab Elshamy

  • Roberto Fabbri

    Roberto Fabbri is an architect, researcher, and Associate Professor at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi. His research focuses on exploring identity representation and heritage within the built environment of non-western cities, particularly emphasizing the Arab Peninsula. Fabbri has authored two books on Max Bill's architectural production and co-authored three books on Arab/Persian Gulf Architecture. Currently, his work involves analyzing the architectural production in the Cultural District of Abu Dhabi at Saadiyat Island. 

    Roberto Fabbri

  • Haithem Haouel

    Haithem Haouel has been working as a cultural programme officer at the Goethe-Institut Tunis since 2023. He worked as a French-speaking Tunisian journalist, specialising in socio-culture / print and web media, for the last 10 years. He has also worked in the press and communications offices of numerous festivals in Tunisia. Haithem Haouel has a double degree in French literature and journalism. 

    Haithem Haouel

  • Amani Altamimi

    Amani Altamimi born 1991 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Amani is an English Literature graduate, who has worked as a dance and art teacher since 2010, Co founder and manager of Enchanted Art and Culture Center and Enchanted Daycare in Riyadh. Interested in exploring the interrelationship of art, literature and society in the middle east. Building a movement by teaching younger generations performance art. Trying to build ties between societal change and artistic expression by making performance art accessible to different age groups and people from different backgrounds.  

    Amani Altamimi

  • Faten Lahham Haidar

    Training Consultant, Lead Trainer & Life Coach: A dynamic professional dedicated to empowering individuals and communities. As a freelance Life Coach and Lead Trainer in Women Empowerment and Leadership, she brings extensive experience. Formerly a Board member at Bemo Saudi Fransi bank in Syria, she led the Nomination and Remunerations Committee. With a significant career at the British Council spanning 2000 to 2019, she spearheaded projects in human and community development. Accredited by ICF and AAC as a certified Life Coach, she is a skilled public speaker and licensed Lead Trainer. 

    Her impact extends across the Middle East, UK, and Canada, having trained over 200 trainers and 10,000 candidates in 15 countries. Notably, she co-wrote the "Amal - Women Empowerment Programme" in KSA, showcasing her commitment to empowering women. 

    Faten Lahham Haidar 

  • Menna Emad Abdelrahman

    Menna Emad Abdelrahman is an avid rock climber, hiker, freediver and overall outdoor enthusiast. She is a certified Rock Climbing Instructor by the Austrian Alpine Academy and a Trekking Guide. Menna is the founder of Papertrails, a creative writing experience on the trail, curating a unique experience combining her love for creative writing and hiking. She is also co-founder of Women in the Wadi with Amira Helmy, a women’s climbing initiative creating a powerful space for women to experience the magic of rock climbing and celebrate women in the mountains. Menna also works as a business consultant, with 8 years of experience in Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship. 

    Menna Emad Abdelrahman

  • Salma Sabek

    Armed with a pen and a burning desire for change, Salma has used writing to promote social and environmental justice from a very early age. Besides launching a career in marketing and communication, Salma has spent the past three years integrating into Cairo's cultural and artistic scenes and using her writing skills to cover, document and challenge the vibrant landscape while contextualizing its history and politics.

    Profil: Salma Sabek

  • Natalie Al Tahhan

    Natalie Al Tahhan is the Owner and Creative Director of Natalie Tahhan, a high-end womenswear label that sells internationally. She worked extensively as an artist and designer throughout Europe and the Middle East and subsequently returned to Jerusalem to create a platform for her creativity. Ms. Tahhan’s work focuses on weaving traditional elements of intricate hand sewn embroidery into digital prints and incorporates them with contemporary trends to create exclusive pieces marked by elegance and innovation. She offers her expertise and invests in her community. She consults with and designs for the Palestinian Museum to produce designs and products for exhibition and sale in their gift shop.

    Natalie Al Tahhan


  • Benjamin Fischer

    Benjamin Fischer is 30 years old and studied History and International Relations. He then worked on a podcast about the German pension system. He trained as a journalist at Reportageschule Reutlingen. 

    Profil: Benjamin Fischer

  • Frederik Mittendorf

    Frederik Mittendorff studied political science at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, worked as a trainee at the Hamburger Morgenpost and writes mainly about politics. Among other things, he worked for the ZEIT and the Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik. After graduating from Reportageschule Reutlingen, he now works as a freelance journalist. 

    Profil: Frederik Mittendorff

  • Jonas Mayer

    Jonas Mayer is a journalist covering climate and environmental issues. He researches everything from sustainable building design to saving sea grasses and produces texts for print and online as well as videos for DW Environment.

    Profil: Jonas Mayer

  • Anna Dotti

    Anna Dotti, born in Rome in 1989, studied philosophy in her home town, Heidelberg and Jena. Her path into journalism took her across the borders of Europe to the southern provinces of Germany, where she trained at Reportageschule Reutlingen. Today she lives at the port of Hamburg and writes as a freelance journalist. 

    Profil: Anna Dotti

  • Marie Heßlinger

    Marie Heßlinger studied psychology and then became a freelance journalist. Because she wanted to learn how to write really well, she attended reportage school. Since visiting Saudi Arabia with the Goethe-Institut, she has wanted to learn Arabic and write even more stories from the Arab world. 

    Marie Heßlinger

  • Hannah Mara Schmitt

    Hannah Mara Schmitt, born in 1995, lives and works as a freelance journalist in Berlin. She studied German and English. For her bachelor's thesis, she researched feminism and humor at New York University. She completed her Master's degree at Humboldt University in Berlin. She writes reports, portraits and interviews. She trained as a journalist at Reportageschule Reutlingen. 

    Hannah Mara Schmitt

  • Dennis Frasch

    As a cheese lover and bank apprentice, Dennis Frasch was well on his way to fulfilling all the clichés of a Swiss. Until he was told that he should think carefully about the impression he was making on his boss with his critical questions. Now he is a cheese lover and journalist. He has worked as a reporter for the Swiss news portal watson since 2019. At Reportageschule Reutlingen, he learned the art of tackling big stories as a freelance journalist. 

    Dennis Frasch

  • Laila Sieber

    Laila Sieber, born in Freiburg in 1989, is a freelance reporter and photojournalist. She studied audiovisual media in Stuttgart, photojournalism and documentary photography in Hanover and Ghent. She has worked for feature and documentary films, in the photo editorial department of DIE ZEIT and as a photographer for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including in Tehran, Perpignan and Berlin. She then trained at Reportageschule Reutlingen. In her reportages, she deals with migration, war, the climate crisis and social movements. 

    Laila Lieber

  • Lars Graue

    ... had never actually stood on a surfboard - until he came to Taghazout.There, where even traffic circles are lined with towering boards, he couldn't withstand the pressure of the locals and tourists.Thank God, he thought in retrospect. As a reporter, he was usually out and about in halls, stadiums or sports grounds, preferably where balls were flying around. Always interested in what sport means to people. 

    Lars Graue

  • Janina Bauer

    Janina Bauer spent her childhood in the Swabian province and then part of her school years in Buenos Aires.  She studied economics in Stuttgart and Seville and then worked as a reporter in Switzerland for two years.She finally returned to the Swabian province to train as a journalist at Reportageschule Reutlingen. Now that she has graduated, she can hardly wait to get out into the big wide world again. 

    Janina Bauer

  • Celine Schäfer

    Celine Schäfer was born in 1996 in the Ruhr area. She studied social sciences in Cologne and worked for WDR during her studies.After completing her studies and several internships in journalism, Celine completed a traineeship at wortwert, a journalism office specializing in economics, and later worked as an editor. Her clients include brand eins, ZEIT, fluter and FAZ. She joined Reportageschule Reutlingen in 2023. 

    Celine Schäfer

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Logo: Die Reportageschule